Hunt Slonem

 
Bringing a freewheeling sense of awe, wonder and detail to his vibrant but meditative patterned portrayals of the natural world, as well as his spectacular living and working spaces, the New York City-based artist and lifestyle trendsetter Hunt Slonem is considered one of the great colorists of our time. As vibrant a dresser and designer as he is a painter and sculptor, the Maine-born creative force of nature is best known for his vivid, heavy impasto, neo-expressionist works of butterflies, bunnies, exotic blooms, monkeys, and tropical birds, the latter inspired by the 60 or more rescued parrots and others that he houses at any given time in his 35,000 square foot Brooklyn studio. Hunt Slonem's work has been exhibited in more than 350 shows in galleries and museums internationally, many of them solo, and his work is in the permanent collections of 100 plus museums worldwide, including the most revered American institutions - the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim, Smithsonian Institution, and the National Gallery of Art. His life and work have been the subject of numerous books, documentaries, magazine and newspaper features. As a founding principle of his process, Slonem says, "Repetition is important. I was influenced by Warhol's repetition of soup cans and Marilyn. But I'm more interested in doing it in the sense of prayer, with repetition...It's really a form of worship." Included in that "worship" are his famous paintings of Bunnies, hundreds and hundreds of bunnies, a daily creative ritual from the time he realized, many years ago while dining in a Chinese restaurant, that he was born in the Year of the Rabbit. Each day begins, before his first cup of coffee, with any number of bunny paintings, his "warm ups", painted on panels prepared the night before. In various cultures, the rabbit is associated with good luck, compassion and fertility and few mammals multiply as rapidly as rabbits. His bunny paintings are usually displayed as multiples, row upon row, framed in "rescued" antique Victorian frames. In 2014, the luxuriously designed book "Bunnies", published by Glitterati, Inc. focused solely on Hunt Slonem's charming bunnies painted with broad brushstrokes, their whiskers scraped into the paint with the sharpened end of his brush. The artist's obsessive and repetitive rendering of his familiar subjects in liberally applied oils, often cut into a cross-hatched grid pattern that adds texture to the overall surface and is suggestive of a view from either side of a cage, results in paintings that are physically and aesthetically rich, in a style that the acclaimed Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Henry Geldzahler deemed "a consistent investigation of post-Cubist abstraction." As the son of a Navy officer, Slonem spent his childhood on military bases: growing orchids in Hawaii, collecting stamps in Louisiana, and chasing butterflies in Nicaragua - the place that inspired him most. The tropical landscape informed not only his process, but also his need to be surrounded by the nature he paint - beautiful gardens and his exotic birds, often with one or more perched on his shoulders as he works. Hundreds of birds fill the surface of one of the artist's largest projects - a 6' x 86' mural he painted for the iconic Bryant Park Grill in New York City. His renowned sculptures include Tocos, and 18-foot acrylic and aluminum tower of toucans in Metaire, LA. Hunt Slonem is a graduate of Painting and Art History from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Selected Permanent Collections:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY
The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
The Smithsonian Institution, DC
The National Gallery, DC
The Art Bank, U.S. Dept. of State, DC
United States Dept. of State, DC
Columbus Museum of Art, OH
Dayton Art Institute, OH
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
Bahrain National Museum, UAE
Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain
Pulitzer Collection, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Henie-Onstad Kuntsenter, Norway

Selected Private Collections:

Yoko Ono
Whoopi Goldberg
Brooke Shields
Julianne Moore
Bill & Hillary Clinton
Salman Rushdie
Jimmy Fallon
Sharon Stone
Kate Walsh
Mandy Moore
Andre Leon Talley Mr. & Mrs. James Nederlander
Epatha Merkerson
Tommy Tune
Cameron Diaz
Anne Hathaway
Sylvia Miles
Jacqueline Stone
Monique Van Vooren
Mary Tyler Moore
Ann Eisenhower
Ann Hearst & Jay McInerny
Alan Dershowitz
Patti Hansen
Barry & Fran Weissler
Gina Gershon
Molly Simms